Monday, November 29, 2010


Elliot was excited for the Pack Meeting we had two weeks ago. He had completed all the requirements for his Wolf badge. He also received a gold arrow point, 2 silver arrow points and 3 gold beads. And since he turned 9, he now moves on to the Bear den.
Don't he look cute in his uniform? I love this kid!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Geocaching Party

Elliot's turning 9 soon, and since we'll be in California on his birthday, we had his party this last Saturday. Elliot's new favorite thing - second only to basketball - is geocaching, so naturally, that's what he wanted to invite his friends to do. Nathan was only too happy to plan the whole thing (we need to have these kind of parties more often!)
For anyone who's not cool enough to know what geocaching is: You use a handheld GPS to find caches (treasures) of various sizes, that others have hidden at certain coordinates. Once found, you write your name in the log book that's inside and then you can take any object or trinket out of the cache as long as you replace it with something of equal value.
For Elliot's party, I went to the dollar store and bought a bunch of small toys and gave them to the boys to keep or trade as they wanted. Nathan bought them each a neat water bottle holder that can be attached to a belt loop. This ended up being a bit of a nuisance for the boys that weren't wearing a belt and had to hold on to their pants the entire time to keep them from falling down!

This is the first cache they found. I love this picture.

Nathan's taking a video of the boys with his iPod in this picture.

We only had one minor injury. William scratched his face in this mess of twigs when they got a little off course. What's funny about this next picture is that ALL of them are right there in front of that middle tree. You just can't see them.

The coolest part of the hunt was walking through this long, creepy, wet drainage pipe.

These guys found all eight caches they went after and they had a BLAST doing it. Three of the boys didn't even know what geocaching was before they went with Elliot!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The New Addition

This was delivered today:

We're totally excited to have a piano in the house again. We had to leave our hand me down, 100 year old, cobweb-y monster with broken keys behind in AZ, and I've missed it (well, not that piano, but a piano). And when my girls started expressing their desire for piano lessons - and when that turned into begging - we decided it was time to look for one. It just so happened, I found what I was looking for immediately. I looked on KSL, and the very first page of search results had this piano that was the perfect size, color and style and was a screaming deal to boot! Six days later, it's in our living room! Right after it arrived, I pulled out all of my old sheet music and started out with Ashokan Farewell - for mom, since it was her favorite and she asked my to play it all the time back when I was still living at home. Well, the girls are excited to start lessons next week, especially since their own mother is going to be teaching them. Elliot and Henry are even thinking of getting in on that action. Sure . . . why not?

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Is It Possible to Go Senile at Age 35?

Okay, seriously, I think I'm losing my mind. Last night, we went to watch Sam and Gill play in the regional volleyball tournament. In between games, we ran over to Panda Express to grab some dinner. When we got back, Gillian asked if she could use my cell phone to call a friend. I handed it to her and then she left the room to make the call. Literally one minute later, I opened my purse to grab my phone to text someone . . . my phone was gone! I kept searching my purse as the panic set in. The only place I thought it could be was at Panda Express, since it was the last place I remembered using it. I ran out to the car and speeded over to the restaurant. My phone was not at our table and it wasn't in the trash - I know because I looked. I ran back out to my car to check if it had fallen out of my purse and on the car floor. As I frantically searched, I decided to say a prayer. It was then that I finally remembered that Gillian had the phone! When I got back to the volleyball game, Nathan was waiting for me in the parking lot. He had a good laugh and apparently, so did all the girls on the volleyball team, since they had solved The Case of the Missing Phone long before I got back.

And then . . .

30 minutes later, when we piled in the car to go home, I opened my purse to get the car keys. Now they were missing. I digged around for a few seconds before I realized that I had already put the keys in the ignition and the car was running!

And then . . .

The next day, I used my debit card at an ATM. A while later, I opened my wallet and saw an empty space where my debit card should have been. What the heck? Did I really leave the card in the ATM machine? It took me a while to find the card in a different slot, behind the Costco card.

Goodness! I really need to get more rest . . . or go brunette . . . or get a CT scan . . .

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Bryce Canyon

Let's go back in time a few weeks to our Fall Break. We loaded the kids in the car and headed south to Bryce Canyon. Along the way, we stopped to hunt for several geocaches. Geocaching is Elliot's new favorite, and he was thrilled to find every cache we searched for.

We also passed right by Big Rock Candy Mountain. It looks kinda cool!

We stayed in Panquitch for a night and then on to Bryce Canyon.

Now, if you're married to Nathan, hiking around a National Park is a requirement.
Hike #1
We went in search of the famous Bristlecone Pine tree. The ones in Bryce Canyon are roughly 1700 years old, but there are some in the world that are 4600 years old! Bristlecone Pines grow in the most desolate spots - where there's lots of sun and very little water. They are distinguished by the way the pine needles grow in a foxtail shape. Nathan was impressed.

That is a very sad looking Bristlecone Pine right behind us:

This was a cool formation. I was snapping a few shots when a guy from Canada asked if I wanted to use his fisheye lens for a minute. Heck yeah! See the difference?

Then he took a picture of us with his lens still on my camera. It's totally neat except for the fact that I ruined the picture with my blink.

Hike #2

We hiked down into the canyon right passed Thor's Hammer, the most famous Hoodoo in the park.

Yes, I said Hoodoo. Here's a quick lesson on how Bryce Canyon was formed:

It's basically from erosion and the freezing temperatures in the winter. Anyway, here's the rest of the hike.

This is the Bryce Canyon Ampitheater. It really does look like there are a bunch of hoodoos seated in an ampitheater watching a concert or something.

This tree looks like it's going to walk away!

Bryce Canyon was beautiful and it made for the perfect fall break family adventure!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Today, I couldn't stop eating sugar cookies. I have plenty of leftover Halloween ghosts, pumpkins and bats sitting in a Tupperware. The frosting is just sitting out on the counter, making it real easy to grab a cookie, smear a little frosting on the top, and pop it into my mouth. I must be low on sugar . . .

Monday, November 1, 2010

A Bunch of Zombies . . . and a Prince

Well, another Halloween has come and gone. It was super fun - let's start at the beginning:

Gotta get the pumpkins carved!

First, Dad cuts the top off and the boys scoop out the guts. Look what had sprouted inside the dark pumpkin!

Next, everyone draws what they want the pumpkin to look like. Then, we vote.

Mom roasts the pumpkin seeds while Dad carves the pumpkin's new face.

The Vampire pumpkin wins the election.

The pumpkins go out to the front porch and then . . . caramel apples for dessert!

Friday is the ward Trunk-or-Treat. The kids fill their buckets to the top with candy and Mom and Dad win one of the grand prizes for decorated trunk. Cool!

Saturday is Halloween (for all intents and purposes). Here in Utah, there are so many church members, that even non-members don't mind moving Halloween ahead one day. Too bad the weather is kinda miserable this year: cold, rainy, windy. Too windy to decorate the front porch for trick or treaters. We decide the leave all our spooky stuff in the trunk from the night before and open the garage door.

We dress up in costume for the third time this week and head over to Greg and Andrea's for a little pre-trick-or-treating dinner party. We watch the rain come down all through dinner, wondering if the kids will think all that candy will be worth braving the elements for.

It's funny how much Elliot looks like another Elliott, who was also a zombie (or a hunchback) on Halloween!

Time to trick-or-treat! Mom stays behind (there's no WAY she's walking around the neighborhood freezing HER butt off) to pass out candy to the other brave trick-or-treaters and to get ready for all the girls Gillian and Samantha have invited to the house for a Halloween party.

Let the candy trading begin!
I absolutely LOVE these girls! We miss the six others that couldn't come.
After doughnuts and fresh apple cider, a Halloween must-have, they all cozy up together to watch The Private Eyes, one of my favorite movies. It's a hit!

They all had a spooky good time . . . here come the cavities!